April 10th 2018

April 10, 2018

SRF Announces New Postbaccalaureate Fellowship Program

The SRF Postbaccalaureate Fellowship Program offers recent graduates the opportunity to conduct biomedical research to combat diseases of aging, such as cancer, atherosclerosis, and Parkinson’s Disease. 

 

Like SRF’s Summer Scholars Program (for undergraduates), the goal of the Postbaccalaureate Fellowship Program will be to prepare participants for a career in regenerative medicine research. Under the guidance of a scientific mentor, each Fellow will take control of his or her own research project. Training will also include writing assignments that will improve each Fellow’s ability to generate grant proposals, abstracts, and other scientific reports.

Applications for the Postbaccalaureate Fellowship Program are now available online. The application deadline is May 21, 2018. Visit our website for further details and eligibility requirements. 

To Save Your Brain, Slay The Zombie (Senescent) Cells!

A Research Blog Feature Article

By: Michael Rae, SRF Science Writer

It was a bit of a mystery to the scientists investigating the phenomenon: a brain disease driven by the death of specialized neurons was strongly linked to exposure to a particular pesticide. Why, then, didn’t exposing those same neurons directly to that same pesticide seem to affect them?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease of aging, whose most obvious symptoms — tremors, gait disorders, and a “mask-like” facial appearance — involve the loss of fine motion control. These symptoms are the result of the loss of specialized cells in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra pars compacta(SNc) that specialize in producing the chemical signal-molecule dopamine and are responsible for turning off excess firing of neurons that control muscles. Once a critical number of these “dopaminergic” SNc neurons are lost, the unbalanced firing of those neurons begins to manifest itself in the main motion-related symptoms of the disease.

In all but a few people with rare mutations, degenerative aging processes (such as the accumulation of mitochondrial mutations in SNc neurons) are primarily responsible for the disease. But lifestyle and environmental factors also damage these neurons, and thus increase the risk of a person developing the disease clinically within a currently-normal lifetime. A striking example of this is MPP+, a well-established neurotoxin that specifically attacks the SNc dopaminergic neurons in lab mice, monkeys — and in humans: MPP+’s parent compound, MPTP, has caused numerous cases of Parkinson’s-like syndrome in young people exposed to it in underground drug labs, or via contaminated street drugs.

So what other exposures might similarly accelerate the degenerative processes that leads to PD? For a long time, scientists have focused on paraquat, a neurotoxic pesticide banned in the EU in 2007, and subject to restricted use in the United States. Paraquat was originally restricted because it can cause lung damage when workers are exposed to high levels of it in the air, but scientists studying it also noted that it has a strong structural resemblance to MPP+. And sure enough, under some conditions it can cause a Parkinson’s-like syndrome in laboratory animals, and a strong and consistent relationship has been found between on-farm exposure to paraquat in farm workers (as opposed to exposure to residues in one’s food) and risk of PD.

Yet, puzzlingly, paraquat doesn’t seem to be particularly toxic to dopaminergic neurons when tested directly; much of the rodent data that seems to show such an effect is ambiguous or unlikely to reflect paraquat exposures actually present in the brain. So what might be going on?

SRF Research Center Job Opportunity: Immunologist

Would you like to work for us? SENS Research Foundation is currently hiring for a full-time Scientist (Immunologist) position at our Research Center in Mountain View, California. Visit our website for the full job description and application form

Digital Portuguese Language Version of "Ending Aging" Coming June 5th

A digital, Portugese version of Dr. Aubrey de Grey’s book, “Ending Aging”, will be released on June 5th, 2018. Along with co-author Michael Rae, Dr. de Grey presents evidence for his novel damage-repair paradigm to combat the diseases of aging. 

The 2007 book theorizes that aging itself can be conceptualized as a disease created through the accumulation of cellular and molecular damage. Repairing this damage would make it possible to rejuvenate the body, largely preventing the emergence of diseases related to aging, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, among others. 

Until the release date (June 5th), the book will be in pre-sale phase, during which the reader can set their own price (with a minimum value of R$10 Brazilian Real, equivalent to about $3 USD). Join the pre-sale hereAfter that date, the book will be on sale on Amazon's website for a fixed price, so reserve your copy now!

 

 

Where in the World is Aubrey de Grey?

Dr. Aubrey de Grey will be speaking at the following upcoming events:

Where: Hannover
When: April 15-19, 2018

This conference addresses factors that may contribute to healthier lifestyles and outcomes, thereby delaying the onset of age-associated diseases and extending longevity. The focus is to highlight cutting-edge advances in aging research, novel technologies and potential therapeutic interventions.

 

Where: San Francisco, CA, USA
When: May 8, 2018

The San Francisco Chronicle Chats are an ongoing series of events, featuring thought-leaders, influencers, newsmakers and trend-setters, discussing issues that affect the Bay Area and its citizenry. This panel discussion - featuring SRF's Aubrey de Grey and Stanford's William Hurlburt - promises to be a lively and fascinating one as the participants take on the ethical and practical implications of advancing medical technology in our changing world. We would love to see you there - follow the link above to purchase tickets, and save $10 by entering discount code "SFCSens".

Where: Berlin, Germany
When: May 15-16, 2018

CUBE aims to unite deep-tech startups with global corporates to influence the positive development of Industry 4.0. The CUBE Tech Fair represents a unique "matchmaking" opportunity for startups and corporates, providing a platform to establish productive partnerships and collaboration.

UK Donors Can Now Support SENS EU with Amazon Smile

SENS Foundation Europe (SENS EU) is an independent, UK-based charity founded to help UK donors fund SENS-related research. By donating to SENS EU, UK donors are eligible for the tax benefit of their charitable giving. Proceeds into SENS EU are spent directly on SRF-approved research and projects. 

Now, UK donors wishing to contribute to SENS EU have a new, easy way to do so while they shop using Amazon UK. For every purchase made via Smile, Amazon UK will make a donation to SENS EU of 0.5% of the net purchase price. Visit Amazon Smile UK to get started!

Support SENS Foundation Europe

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As a 501(c)(3) public charity, SENS Research Foundation relies on your support  to continue our mission to change the way the world researches and treats age-related disease.

 

Visit our Donate Page to make your contribution.

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